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WGA Board Member
WGA Board Member

Joined: 2005-01-17
Posts: 2558
Location: Mountain, WI

PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 9:47 pm Reply with quote Back to top

we want to go paperless, but what is the best unit to use??? Palm, HP or whose??? We looked at forums and the Palm IIIvx and PalmOne Vx were listed there any others that are good??? how much will they store??? battery life??? Pros/Cons??? Good Experiences/Bad experiences. WE WANT TO KNOW ALL ABOUT THESE BEFORE PURCHASING ONE! Thanks to all in advance for your info.
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WGA Member

Joined: 2005-07-24
Posts: 639
Location: New glarus, WI

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:26 am Reply with quote Back to top

i can only speak of what i have used.... i have used a pocket PC(hp device) with gpxview or gpxsonor installed to read my cache info on the trail. i have never used the palm though i have heard that the cachemate software you use on there is slightly better.

on a side note i installed pocket adobe acrobat so i could read PDF files with it too.... this is great since you can Download maps of all wisconsin trails and parks at this site

another cool thing we use our pocket pc for is we use usaphotomaps and get aerial photos and topo JPG files(screen shot photos) and are able to view these while we are out.

we have a WiFi (802.11b) carfd in our pocket pc and can use internet in allot of locations we are at. this unit also has a blue tooth connection(wireless connection to devices), though we have never used it. you can use blue tooth GPS receiver and with the right soft only have the pocket pc for all you caching.

[This message has been edited by hogrod (edited 08-19-2005).]
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Joined: 2003-09-10
Posts: 1263
Location: Bristol WI

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 5:13 pm Reply with quote Back to top

If your primary use will be geocaching, I recommend getting a used palmOne™ Zire™ or Handspring unit from somewhere like E-Bay or a "remanufactured" unit directly from the company website.

I use a Handspring Visor Deluxe, which can be purchased for less than $30 on E-bay. I have had up to 1000 cache pages loaded on it with no problem.

If I break it or lose it, no big loss. Pretty hard to say that about the $100-$500 models.
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WGA Member

Joined: 2005-07-24
Posts: 639
Location: New glarus, WI

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 6:25 pm Reply with quote Back to top

pocket pc's are also really cheap on ebay, can get a really nice one for $150.(also check best buy so you can use them alittle before you buy) most have CF or SD card slot for expanding memory, so you can put as many cache listing in as you want.
I would agree if you can find a cheap palm on ebay for $20+ you can't go wrong, but looks like no deals right now.
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WGA Member

Joined: 2004-09-25
Posts: 135
Location: Brookfield, WI

PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 3:30 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I'll pretty much echo hogrod's answer. I use a Pocket PC and have never used a Palm. A couple of benefits of Pocket PC's not mentioned so far - color displays are standard, and they have pocket versions of Excel and Word which may or may not interest you. I have a Toshiba with wifi and 2 expansion slots (SD and CF) - great features, but I would recommend the hp over this one.

Another thing to consider is that I use the CF slot for a GPS device from Teletype (works great for the car) and the SD card holds detailed street maps and geocaches for many states. If this is something that interests you see my website for more info:
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WGA Member

Joined: 2005-07-24
Posts: 639
Location: New glarus, WI

PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 10:05 pm Reply with quote Back to top

another great deal for mapping software for pocket pc is go out and buy Microsoft streets and trips 2005, the pocket pc version is also on the PC disk and when you install on your computer it asks if you want to also install pocket pc version. the down side is you have to make small map areas but you can export a pocket streets and trips file from GSAK and have your caches listed on the streets and trips map(also has allot of points of intrest)

we purchased a cigarette lighter charger on ebay for both our magellan meridian and our pocket PC(combo charger data cable). this can also be used to get a GPS signal in pocket pc so on streets and trips will show loction driving down the road.
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WGA Member

Joined: 2004-05-19
Posts: 782

PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 10:09 pm Reply with quote Back to top

We are just getting into the whole paperless thing as well. Our first successful attempt was this past week while on vacation in the U.P. We had a double barrel assult between our laptop and a Pocket PC.

On the laptop we have installed GSAK and Garmin MapSource. We also occasionally were using Microsoft Streets and Trips.

The first thing you need to do is download a pocket query from Open it up into GSAK This is the key ingredient that makes everything else work.

With GSAK, we were able to export to the mapping software. This saved AstroKat several hours of marking up county maps and made navagating to the caches much easier.

GSAK creates an html based page that looks very much like the cache pages. The nice thing is that you can use it offline in conjunction with the GSAK database feature or export it to your Pocket PC and carry it with you while caching.

Of course you don't need a laptop. You can load GSAK onto your regular computer and then export the data to the Pocket PC or Palm Pilot.

Hope the info helps. Feel free to email us if you have any other questions.

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WGA Member

Joined: 2004-05-28
Posts: 1440
Location: Ozaukee County

PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 8:35 am Reply with quote Back to top

I have good luck using a Palm ( ) and "CacheMate" software ($8 at ).
If you just want to do paperless caching, yes go for a lower costs unit, like a Zire 31, or save even more by getting a reconditioned one. If you want to do more ... in my case I've got bible software and palm-based map software on it ... you'll want more internal memory (as relying on a memory card slows things down typically) ... I went with the Palm Tungsten E2, I'm extrememly happy with it.

One thing to consider is screen glare out in the sunshine ... low end black & white units are fine and the mid/high units with "transreflective" color screens (like the Tungsten E or E2 for example) work well ... but many of the low/mid-cost COLOR units (like the Zire series) do NOT work well with any amount of sun light. Bascially either stick with a cheap black & white, or look for "transrelective" color.

Also something I've found and "jthorson" can attest to ... if your doing a puzzle/mystery cache with any amount of complexity/steps to it ... consider printing it on paper, hand-helds can cause you to make mistakes since you can't see all the text on the screen at one time. (Just ask "jthorson" what happened to him at my "Son of Port Puzzle" ... LOL x5)

[This message has been edited by EnergySaver (edited 08-22-2005).]
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WGA Member

Joined: 2002-06-27
Posts: 4
Location: Nabob, WI

PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2005 7:50 am Reply with quote Back to top

I use the Zire 31 with Cachemate. I agree with the comments about reading the screen. Direct sun is a problem. Cachemate is a great tool and well worth the small investment (shameless plug). I do not have any mapping software.

Paperless caching helped get me back involved in the sport. I used to spend a lot of time printing out cache pages or copying and pasting selected caches into a single document. This got to be a real pain. Whatever combination you end up with, you'll like going paperless.
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WGA Member

Joined: 2005-09-19
Posts: 182
Location: Mt Horeb, WI

PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 12:59 pm Reply with quote Back to top

here is a very good 'how to' document created by the florida geocaching association.
It is focused on GSAK, Cachemate, and Palm.
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